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10 lessons from the first two years of COVID-19

McKinsey shares 10 lessons from the first two years of COVID-19 on the 2nd anniversary of World Health Organization (WHO) declaring COVID-19 a pandemic (Mar’22 report):

  1. “Infectious diseases are a whole-of-society issue.

  2. The vaccine development paradigm has been transformed for emergencies and, potentially, for more.

  3. Conversely, weaknesses in vaccine manufacturing and equitable distribution will require systemic change.

  4. Trust is one of the most delicate but critical requirements for an effective pandemic response.

  5. Agility and speed will be the new basis for differentiation.

  6. Government policy matters—but individual behavior sometimes matters more.

  7. Schools are the true fulcrum for the functioning of society.

  8. Work will never be the same.

  9. Economic stimulus works, but only in concert with strong public-health measures.

  10. Whether we experience these problems again will depend on the investments and institutions we establish now.”

While we know government and institutions have and need to play an outsized role, the importance of individual people’s trust and behavior is absolutely critical to managing through tumultuous times. People are different and will behave differently — we don’t want to be forced.

We continue to see this play out as businesses seek to get employees back into offices, and kids into schools. A lot of societal trust has been lost with the government and media, and businesses are expected to lead the way to rebuilding it. [ref Edelman Trust report]

Lots to be learned and applied.


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